Jainworld
Jain World
Sub-Categories of Passions

Jivaraja Jaina Granthmala, No. 20

General Editorial
Preface to The First Edition
Preface to The Second Edition
Synoptic Philosophy
  Approach to Reality
  The Jaina Theory of the Soul
  Critique of Knowledge
  The Doctrine of Karma in Jaina Philosophy
  The Pathway to Perfection
  In this Our Life
  Men and Gods

THE JAINA  THEORY OF THE SOUL

 

 

In Gommatasara, Jivakanda, we get a detailed classification of samsari jivas. This classification is shown on next page.

Comparative psychology points out that there have been various stages in the development of animal life. The first simple animals, the protozoa, are possessed of one sense. In fact, till we reach the insect species we find that the chemical sense predominates. Positive, negative and food reactions are mainly due to the chemical sense. As we go up the animal scale, we find sensory discrimination in qualitative distinctions. Even the other senses get discriminated and developed as we proceed in the development of animal life. Similarly, the distinction between the jivas, as parydpta and aparypta, has great psychological significance.  Gomma tasara thus illustrates the paryapta developed, "as the things like the room, jars, and clothes are full or empty, so the jivas should be understood to be complete or incomplete.1 Jiva becomes paryapta with the absorption of Karmic matter for building up its body, sense, respiration and manas.  One sensed organisms become complete with the possession of food, drink, body, sense and respiration. The possession of these attributes maker the first four-sensed organisms paryapta or complete. For five-sensed organisms all the six are necessary.  In the absence of these the Jivas are incomplete.[47]  Comparative psychology has shown that sensory discrimination has been a gradual process. Miss Washburn points out that ability to distinguish between the different sensory experiences depends on several factors, like the nature of the sense organs and the ability to make varied reaction movements.[48] On the basis of these investigations, three different classes of senses, like the chemical sense, hearing and sight, have been mentioned. The chemical sense is manifested in the combined senses of taste and touch. As sensory discrimination becomes more complex. the mental life of the animal becomes more developed and pronounced.

 

 

IV. These characteristics of the soul are mentioned from the practical point of view. Defilement of the soul takes place when the Karma pours into the soul. This is called asrava.  The soul then begins to experience mundane and emotional experiences like the passions. The Karma which comes into contact is retained. The soul is eternally infected with matter. Every moment it is getting new matter. In the normal course of things, it has no end. But the deliverance of the soul from the wheel of samsara is possible by voluntary means. By the process of samvara the soul can stop the influx of Karma; by  nirjara it can eliminate the Karma already glued to the soul. Then all

obstacles are removed and the soul becomes pure and perfect, free from the wheel of samsara. Being free, with its upward motion the jiva attains the liberation or moksa. In the last lines of the Gommatasdra: Jlvakanda , it is said that the liberated soul remains pure and free.

Pure and perfect souls live in eternal bliss. But they do not lose their identity as the Vedantin would emphasize. In the eighth Khanda of the Chandogyopanisad, it is said that when a man departs his speech is merged in mind, his mind in breath, his breath in fire, which in the highest being is sat. Now, that which is the subtle essence has its self.  It is the self, "and thou, Oh Svetaketu, art that." In the eleventh Khanda also, we read that when the body withers and dies and the living self leaves it, the living self dies not.[49]  Jacobi says that here we come nearer to the concept of the soul. It differs from the Jaina concept in that the soul here does not possess a permanent personality, for in mukzi the jiva is merged in Brahman and its individuality is lost. For the Jaina, McTaggart's analogy of the 'college of selves' would appear to be apter, although what type of spiritual unity there is in Moksa, Jainism cannot say. McTaggart seeks of the unity of the absolute as that of a society. All the selves are perfect, and "if an opponent should remind me", he writes, ''of the notorious imperfections of all the lives of all of us, I should point out that every self is in reality eternal and that its true qualities are only seen in so far as it is considered as eternal.~[50] Sub specie eternitatis it is progressing towards perfection as yet unattained.  The never-ceasing struggle of the soul is an important tenet in Jainism. The universe is not, then, an amusing pantomime of infallible marionettes, but a fight for perfection, in which "something is eternally gained for the universe by the success". The Jaina outlook is melioristic.